Peterborough Ramblers: History and Future
“The Peterborough Group was founded in June 1971, as a result of an open meeting held by The Ramblers’ Association in Peterborough Town Hall, chaired by John Trevelyan, the Ramblers Association Right of Way Officer. Any of the audience who were interested was encouraged to form a Group, and committee members (all, as it happens) were elected.
I volunteered as Chairman, and Footpath Officer, (why, is another story). The first few years, were very quiet, sometimes only a few walkers enjoyed the few open paths, the first being from the Town Bridge to Castor and back. After sending press releases, and maps of our walk, each week to both local papers, the membership increased, until in the ‘80s were attracting about 40 walkers each Sunday, and it was said we kept some of the rural pubs open!!
We led walks for the blind and disadvantaged children, carried out extensive clearance, and numerous social evenings in local hostelries. We had a regular stand at the East of England Show in the Conservation Area, and in co-operation with the City Council, stile and bridge building, and helped create the Torpel Way, and other long distance routes.”
The above are the words of Trevor Noyes, one of the original members of the Peterborough Group, which when formed held walks mainly on a Sunday. The Sunday Walks Group now meets fortnightly throughout the year, offering a variety of circular walks from six to ten miles.
Josie Murray is one of the Thursday Group’s longest standing members. Originally called the Thursday Strollers, she remembers back to 1987.
“When I joined the Thursday Strollers in around August 1987 it was not part of the Ramblers Association. It was a large, thriving, independent organisation that was run by a management group and as well as walking, organised very popular coach trips and barn dances. I remember one year when we had 93 people for our Christmas lunch! One of our problems was that we were not insured and this was one of the reasons that in the late 80’s the group became part of the Peterborough Ramblers Association which until then were holding walks mainly on a Sunday.”
The Thursday Strollers, continued as a well-supported, thriving group, until 2016 when it changed its name to the Thursday Walkers. Its popularity continues, walking five to six miles year round, attracting up to 30 walkers, when allowed, during the pandemic restrictions.
The occasional Bus Walks are held mainly on a Sunday, are linear and aimed at those without a car.